Bill Laimbeer – 13th Season (5th in New York) – Notre Dame ’79
Overall Record: 207-158 (.567) | New York Liberty Record: 70-66 (.515) | Playoff Record: 30-20 (.600)
Three Time WNBA Champion (2003, 2006, 2008) | Two-Time WNBA Coach of the Year (2003, 2015)
Bill Laimbeer, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year and three-time WNBA Champion, enters his fifth season as head coach of the New York Liberty.
In 2016, Laimbeer guided the Liberty to a 2nd-straight 20-win season, just the 2nd time in franchise history the Liberty reached the 20-win plateau in consecutive years. Continuing to display the staples of Laimbeer’s system, New York posted the best opponent field goal percentage in the WNBA (.413) and led the league in rebounding (38.6). Tina Charles earned 1st Team All-WNBA honors for a 2nd-straight season, and finished runner-up in the MVP balloting after becoming just the 3rd player in league history to win both the scoring and rebounding titles in the same season.
New York posted the best record in the Eastern Conference, but entering a new WNBA Playoff format, secured the No. 3 overall seed, and a bye into the 2nd round of the playoffs. However, the Liberty was eliminated in a winner-take-all game by the Phoenix Mercury, a step away from the league semifinals.
During the 2015 campaign, Laimbeer helped guide the franchise to the best regular season in team history, posting a franchise-record 23 victories while the Liberty was able to grab the top overall seed in the WNBA for the first time ever and the top spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2002. New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for its deepest playoff run since 2010.
Additionally, New York boasted a pair of All-WNBA performers for the first-time in Charles (First Team) and Epiphanny Prince (Second Team) while also seeing a pair of rookies, Kiah Stokes and Brittany Boyd, land on the WNBA All-Rookie Team. The Liberty led the league in points allowed per game (71.1) and defensive field goal percentage (.393).
Laimbeer previously spent eight seasons from 2002-09 as general manager and head coach of the Detroit Shock (now Tulsa Shock), where he earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors in his first full season as head coach (2003). He took over a team that finished 9-23 in the previous year and led them to a league-best 25 wins the following season. The 16-win improvement was the largest in WNBA history. Laimbeer led the Shock to a 137-93 (.596) overall record, including six-straight playoff appearances as the squad won the WNBA Championship in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
As general manager of the Shock, Laimbeer made several key moves during his tenure that were integral in Detroit capturing three WNBA Championships, which still stand as second most in league history. In his first full season, Laimbeer drafted former All-Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford. He also acquired the Finals MVP that year Ruth Riley in the WNBA dispersal draft.
Prior to returning to the WNBA, Laimbeer spent two seasons as an assistant in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-2011).
A 14-year NBA veteran, Laimbeer was a four-time All-Star for the Detroit Pistons. As a member of the famed “Bad Boys,” Laimbeer totaled 13,790 points and 10,400 rebounds in his career, becoming just the 19th player in NBA history to eclipse 10,000 in both categories. A key member of back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990, he had his jersey No. 40 retired by the franchise in 1995. Laimbeer played college ball at Notre Dame from 1975-79, graduating with a degree in economics in 1979.
Laimbeer and his wife Chris are parents to their son Eric and daughter Keri.
CAREER COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
- Started in the WNBA by spending eight seasons as head coach of the Detroit Shock from 2002-09
- Three-time WNBA Champion (2003, 2006 and 2008)
- 2003 WNBA Coach of the Year
- 2015 WNBA Coach of the Year
- Went 137-93 as head coach of Detroit, including six-straight playoff appearances
- Career WNBA coaching record of 207-158 (.567)
- Career WNBA playoff record of 30-20 (.600)
CAREER PLAYING HIGHLIGHTS
- 14-year NBA veteran, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers (1980-82) and the Detroit Pistons (1982-94)
- Four-time NBA All-Star (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
- Won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990 with the Detroit Pistons
- NBA rebounding leader in 1986 (Averaged 13.1 rpg)
- 19th player in NBA history to amass 10,000 career points and rebounds
- Posted a consecutive games played streak of 685, the fifth-longest in NBA history
- Finished his career with 13,790 points, 10,400 rebounds and 965 blocks.
- The Detroit Pistons all-time leader in rebounds.
- Had his #40 retired by the Detroit Pistons in 1995.
- Played collegiately at Notre Dame from 1975-79.
BILL LAIMBEER CAREER COACHING RECORD
|Season||Team||Record||Postseason Record||Postseason Finish|
|2002||Detroit Shock||9-13 (.409)|
|2003*||Detroit Shock||25-9 (.735)||6-2 (.750)||WNBA Champion|
|2004||Detroit Shock||17-17 (.500)||1-2 (.333)||Eastern Conference Semifinal|
|2005||Detroit Shock||16-18 (.471)||0-2 (.000)||Eastern Conference Semifinal|
|2006||Detroit Shock||23-11 (.676)||7-3 (.700)||WNBA Champion|
|2007||Detroit Shock||24-10 (.706)||6-5 (.546)||WNBA Finals|
|2008||Detroit Shock||22-12 (.647)||7-2 (.778)||WNBA Champion|
|2009||Detroit Shock||1-2 (.333)|
|2013||New York Liberty||11-23 (.323)|
|2014||New York Liberty||15-19 (.441)|
|2015*||New York Liberty||23-11 (.676)||3-3 (.500)||Eastern Conference Finals|
|2016||New York Liberty||21-13 (.618)||0-1 (.000)||WNBA Playoffs 2nd Round|
|Overall||207-158 (.567)||30-20 (.600)|
|*WNBA Coach of the Year|